June 22, 2018
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Slate shapes up for Veazie council, school committee elections

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

VEAZIE, Maine — Veazie voters will fill two expiring posts on the Town Council and elect the first post-RSU 26-withdrawal school committee during local elections on Tuesday, June 11.

Seeking the two three-year council slots are incumbent Jonathan Parker and resident Karen Walker, who is seeking her first council position, according to Interim Town Manager Mark Leonard, who also is the town’s police chief.

Brian Perkins, the other incumbent councilor, has opted not to seek re-election when his term expires at the end of June, Leonard said.

With regard to school committee posts, Veazie must fill five positions for the first time since its vote last November to withdraw from RSU 26, effective July 1. Glenburn residents also voted to pull out of the regional school unit formed less than three years earlier, leaving Orono as the only member.

Heartburn over cost-sharing and a desire to regain control over local education were cited as reasons for withdrawing by residents of both Veazie and Glenburn. They also balked at the regional school unit’s system of weighted votes.

To address the town’s immediate post-withdrawal needs, the town council last December appointed a five-member interim board.

The transitional panel consists of Julia Hathaway, Travis Noyes, Christopher Dalton, Janine Raquet and Susan MacKay. Hathaway, Noyes and Dalton, who currently represent Veazie on the RSU 26 board of directors, will continue to do so until June, when the permanent school board is elected.

Three candidates and a declared write-in candidate have stepped forward for the permanent school committee positions, two of which will be for three years, two of which will be for two years and one of which will be for one year, Leonard said.

Candidates whose names will appear on the election ballot are Hathaway, political newcomer Karpagavalli “Valli” Vel and Gavin Batchelder, a former RSU 26 board member from Veazie.

Kristen Bagley, whose husband Chris Bagley is a town councilor, has tossed her hat into the ring as a declared write-in, Leonard said.

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